Objective: To describe the circumstances, severity, and outcomes of skating-related injuries among children admitted to trauma centers.
Design: A cross-sectional comparison of roller skaters (n = 154), in-line skaters (n = 190), and skateboarders (n = 254) aged 5 to 19 years who were hospitalized with injuries.
Setting: Seventy-nine hospitals and pediatric trauma centers participating in the National Pediatric Trauma Registry between October 1988 and April 1997.
Results: Three quarters (75.8%) of the study sample were male, nearly half (47.8%) were injured on roads, and more than one third (37.1%) had head injuries. Among skateboarders, 50.8% had head injuries compared with 33.7% of in-line skaters and 18.8% of roller skaters (P<.001). According to the Injury Severity Score, injuries to skateboarders were 8 times more likely to be severe or critical compared with roller skaters' injuries and more than 2 times as likely to be severe or critical compared with in-line skaters' injuries. Mean hospital length of stay was 6.0 days for skateboarders, 3.4 days for in-line skaters, and 2.4 days for roller skaters (P<.001). Skateboarders were more likely to be male and to be injured on roads than were in-line skaters or roller skaters.
Conclusions: Skateboarding-related injuries are more severe and have more serious consequences than roller skating or in-line skating injuries. Research is needed to identify ergonomic and behavioral factors responsible for higher head injury risk to skateboarders, and interventions are needed to reduce the risk.